Sometimes it is easy to see when an athlete has blown a lot of money.
They can file for bankruptcy or they can just tell you (like T.O. in GQ). With Allen Iverson it is a little different. There are people who swear that Iverson isn’t struggling at all, while there are others who say he is broke (rich person broke, not broke like the Dollarnaires and I).
One of those people who believe he has lost over $150 million is reporter Bill Lyon. Here is his breakdown of what happened to Iverson’s fortune.
The man who is the best small scorer in the history of the NBA, who lit up Philadelphia nights with his pyrotechnic play, is said to have worked his way through the better part of – big inhale here – $150 million.
He’s 36 years old.
According to the website basketball-reference.com, his income from his rookie year with the 76ers to date is – another big inhale – $154,494,445.
A man has got to really do some serious shopping to blow through a buck-fifty mil. You’d think.
The current A.I. is struggling with life, still puzzling out how to get by without the ball. His family is shattered and scattered, a churning, domestic whirlpool.
Because he had the Posse to support, the ones whose loyalty was guaranteed.
Their numbers varied day to day, week to week, most of them from the old neighborhood in Virginia. There might be as many as 50 for tickets to a home game. There was a hair stylist who traveled, did his corn rows two to three times a week.
Moderation was not in vogue.
There were excursions to see the Ice Man, whose handiwork included a platinum pendant made in the shape of a ‘3’ as a tribute to A.I.’s jersey number, with 63 diamonds embedded on it. You could land airplanes on it. It was worn on a gold chain, by A.I.’s mother, Ann.
One night, during the playoffs, in a hotel suite darker than a coal mine at midnight, you saw the depth of his debt: There were bodies everywhere in that suite, all the furniture occupied, the floor, too, the snoring rivaling a 747 takeoff. It was the Posse and assorted hangers-on and remoras, and this thought struck you:
It may take a village to raise a child, but in A.I.’s case it has been the other way around.
I don’t know the truth and when I am not sure about something I try not to speculate.
As someone who grew up in the Iverson era, all I can hope is that it isn’t true and if it is true that he somehow finds his way out of the abyss.
Young players in the league should pay attention. You can only play for so long and if you aren’t careful, no one will be calling, the groupies will have moved on and the posse will be gone, then what will you be left with?
Better to think about that at 26 than 36.